Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, Mar 20 (UNI) Several experts today stressed on the need for creating awareness among the people, especially the rural masses, about the importance of sanitation and personal hygiene.
Delivering the welcome address at a special function held here on the occasion of World Water Day, Scientist S V Vijayakumar said, ''daily 14,000 people die of preventable water-borne diseases as a result of the exposure to contaminated water.
''It is high time that every one ponder over on finding remedies to the problem of open defecation in public places such as tank bunds, along roadsides and the canal sides, which is the root cause of water contamination.'' East Godavari Zilla Parishad Chairman Ch S Venugopala Krishna, while participating as the chief guest, asked the people in rural areas to refrain from the age-old practice of defecating along the canal bunds in the interest of the society as a whole.
Citing the practice prevailing in rural areas, including his native Konaseema Region, as a glaring example, he said, ''on one side people contaminate the canal water by open defecation all along the canal bunds while on the other the same water is subjected to repeated chemical treatment to convert it into protected water.
''Much wastage could be avoided and several water borne diseases prevented if people improve the sanitation and personal hygiene,''he said.
He claimed the Zilla Parishad had initiated measures to improve the sanitation in schools by providing toilets and protected water through aquaguards.
Efforts were being made to develop East Godavari district into a model district by improving the sanitation at all levels.
The meeting was organised by Kakinada Deltaic Regional Centre of the National Institute of Hydrology.
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